Ocean View School District, union leaders gather for retreat to further partnership

Administrators and union leaders from the Ocean View School District at retreatAdministrators and union representatives from the Ocean View School District recently convened for a Partnership with Administration and Labor — or PAL — retreat at College View Elementary School.

The goal? Advancing student achievement by building on an ambitious labor-management partnership that started last year.

“Research shows that school districts can demonstrate significant gains in student achievement when employees work together with common goals,” said Ocean View Superintendent Dr. Carol Hansen.

District officials and union leaders from the Ocean View School District

Ocean View School District administrators and union leaders gathered for a Partnership with Administration and Labor (PAL) Retreat on March 31. Pictured, from left, are Margaret Friedmann, president of the Ocean View Teachers Association’s Executive Board; OVSD Superintendent Dr. Carol Hansen; Monica Mora, OVTA teachers’ advocate; and Felix Avila, OVSD’s assistant superintendent of human resources.

Ocean View Teachers Association President Margaret Friedmann offered a similar assessment.

“While a few of us have attended labor-management workshops over the last few years and have seen how these partnerships can make a difference in student achievement, it is great to see this rollout on a grand scale where every school site in (the district) was represented,” she said.

The retreat took place on Friday, March 31. But the partnership was initiated last year, when leaders of the Ocean View Teachers Association and the local chapter of the California School Employees Association — they represent classified workers — committed to working together to support a shared vision, one based on mutual respect and open communication channels.

Officials say the PAL approach helped drive the recent passage of a $169 million general obligation bond in November. Measure R, which won 59 percent of the vote, will upgrade campus facilities throughout the district.

“What can often be seen as an ‘adversarial’ relationship between unions and district officials,” said Superintendent Hansen, “can actually become a very empowering, constructive relationship that benefits everyone.”